DIY Cut off Shorts + Asymmetrical Hem

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Okay, so really long title I know, but I have to share my latest discovery in cut offs with you. I was thrifting a few weeks ago, like I do, and I found a pair of cut off shorts. They looked like a homemade job and not mass marketed, but the hem is what caught my eye. It appeared that someone had cut them longer in the back than in the front. It is such a simple concept and yet I've never thought of it. I bought the beauties for a whopping $5.49 and went home to inspect them. I measured the front and back of each leg. Sure enough they were one inch longer in the back. Why is this cool? Well, I'll tell you, I am a girl with a booty. I have had childbearing hips since 6th grade and I'm not usually fond of shorts. I feel like I always have to sag my shorts or else my butt cheeks make an appearance (nobody wants that).

This novel approach to cut offs is just what I need to feel comfortable in a pair of cut offs! I will walk you through the process, which is super simple!

{DIY Cut offs + Asymmetrical Hem}

1. Start out with a pair of jeans or capris you want to shorten.

2. Get a pair of scissors, a pen & a ruler.

3. Flip the jeans inside out so if you make a mark in the wrong place it won't matter when you flip them right side out.

4. Measure the inseam to a desired length. I measured mine 3 inches because I have chunky legs and want to contain them as much as possible. If you're not sure how long you want your shorts, remember it's easier to cut more off later, but if you go too short that's a wrap.


5. measure the outer hem from the bottom of the waist band. I realize not every waist band is the same length on all jeans so it's better to measure under it for more uniform measurements. I measured mine at 10 inches and made mark with the pen.

6. Lay the jeans flat with the front facing up. Try to find the center of each leg and then measure (again start at the bottom of the waistband) 8-9 inches down and make a mark. Do this on both legs. On your first pair, it may be best to give yourself a little more wiggle room for errors. You may want to add a couple inches to my measurements. It will save you in case you make a mistake, or you don't like the length.

7. Flip the jeans over with the back facing up. Measure from the bottom of the waistband 10-11 inches down and make a mark. Try to mark in the center of each leg, because you are going to create an arch instead of a straight line. Your mark in the front is going to be the highest point and the mark in the back will be the lowest.

8. While the pants are still laying face down, take your ruler and match up your mark on the inseam and the mark on the outer hem. Make a line attaching both, but not going any higher or lower than your center mark. Repeat on both legs.

9. Flip the jeans back over and connect the hems again on the front side and use your center mark as a guide.

10. if you are satisfied with how your markings look, then grab a good pair of scissors. Do not cut both sides at the same time! Pull apart each leg and cut the fabric one panel at a time. If you try to cut the pant leg with both front and back together, you will end up with the same length in the front and back. Repeat on both legs.

11. After you have completed cutting the jeans, turn them right side out. I would try them on to make sure you like the length and the curve of the hem. If you are satisfied with them, toss them into the washer and let the fraying happen!

Note: If you would like a more dramatic hem line feel free to make the back and front hems have a 3-4 inch difference.

Here are my end results!! The difference on this pair is not very dramatic. Trust me though, with a butt as big as mine, this technique makes a difference. If I had not added the extra inch, you'd be seeing some cheeks! It's almost as if the extra length, just makes the shorts look like they have an even hem :D I made a few other pairs with a more dramatic change too. It's fun to play with different lengths!!

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Ioana-Carmen said...

Genial! :X

KT said...

Thanks for this tutorial! I am going to see what pants I can chop up later today!

kerrin said...

great blog girlie, let's follow each other! x

Bubble My Licorice said...

you did an amazing job :)
thank you for sharing!!

The Key To Chic said...

I can relate, and love this concept. Thanks for the specific instructions! Will have to try this on all the vintage Levi's I've been thrifting!